Italian Interior minister accuses Europe of siding against Israel

Rome _ Palestine News Network

The ultra-rightist Italian Interior Minister Mateo Salvini, during a visit to Israel on Tuesday, accused the European Union of siding against the Jewish state.

"The EU has never been balanced in recent years (...) in its management of the Middle East conflict by condemning and punishing Israel every five minutes," Salvini told reporters.

Salvini met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday as part of a 24-hour visit.

He described Israel as a "safe haven for European and Western values in the region," stressing that "anyone who desires peace supports Israel."

Asked why he did not intend to meet with any Palestinian leaders, the Italian minister, who is also the deputy prime minister, said he would do so on his next visit, as his agenda was heavy this time.

Salvini, who leads the association's anti-immigration party, rejected criticism of the visit. "This is my fourth visit to Israel and the fourth time I visit the monument of" Yad Vashem "to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust in Jerusalem, which was addressed to him on Wednesday, he said.

"Our government will fight all forms of anti-Semitic violence regardless of how it is embodied," he said.

The Israeli left accused Netanyahu of allowing some foreign leaders to use the country as a shield to repel accusations against them and their parties against anti-Semitism.

Israeli President Rauf Rivlin did not meet with the Italian minister because of "issues related to the agenda " according to the official justification, but he believes that the real reason behind this is his desire to disassociate himself from Salvini.

Rivlin expressed in an interview with CNN last month that he regretted the resurgence of the new outbreak in some European countries that he did not call it. "You cannot say we look forward with admiration to Israel and we want to establish relations with your country, but we are new fascists," Rivlin said.

"The new fascists are totally against the spirit, principles and values of the state of Israel," he added.

Salvini is the last leader of "populist " to be received by Netanyahu after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Urban, who visited the country in July July and Philippine President Rodrigo Duteretti, who was presented in September September.

 

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